The St. Louis Experience

I cannot claim to have participated much directly in the National Conference for Media Reform, given that I was paid to observe: busy recording, editing, and uploading stuff as the radio-centric house organ of sponsor Free Press. All of the conference audio and video is now up on their server and should be publicly available within the next few days. I expect Be the Media! blog traffic will continue to trickle in for a while as well.

Personally speaking, the best parts of the conference were not even related to the event itself. Thursday night’s benefit party for KDHX at the City Museum blew minds. Think of a funhouse for adults, with live bands and beer: it puts the vaunted Arch to shame. Then there were all of the friends both old and new who’d come into town for the weekend. The ratio of extracurricular fun to sleep that was taking place should have killed me (14 hours of crash time upon return home helped). Finally, I had the chance to tag-team (with Free Speech TV and Sounds of Dissent) an interview with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps (audio forthcoming), who artfully mostly-deflected questions on microradio, IBOC, and other sundry subjects. Watching politician-sweat break out up close can be fun! Read More

UC-IMC Buys Post Office

~30,000 square feet, including massive open space, suites of offices, and crazy hidden nooks and crannies (where postal inspectors once kept secret watch on the staff).

$218,000 goes a long way in east-central Illinois. The IMC already has about a third of that on hand, and the rest, it is hoped, can be paid by renting out space to other groups and such. The potential for a performance space nearly dwarfs anything else available off-campus. The post office still maintains a station in the building, but as tenants ($1 a year for the next ten): Uncle Sam say hi to your new landlord! Read More

Inaugural Insurgency to be Broadcast, Relayed

Back around the holidays CNN ran a story about a pirate radio station in D.C. calling for “massive protests” during Bush II’s second inauguration (happening this Thursday, with the festivities running into the weekend). The unexpected exposure caused WSQT, or “The Squat,” to switch broadcasts from the AM to FM band. The station is now also semi-mobile, transmitting with a five-watt brick which it claims can be heard for several miles. There’s apparently quite the engineer behind this operation, as most if not all of the gear in use is homebrew and built especially for the job at hand.

WSQT’s also posted some new audio to IMC-Radio: snippets of public service announcements the station’s been running in the runup to the inaugural action. Other tactical radio projects may be in the works and any streams coming out of D.C. will be rebroadcast via microradio (check with your local station for times). It was the 2000 inauguration protests that really demonstrated the power of the impromptu radio network model, which has only grown more advanced in the last four years.